The Smallest Gift of Christmas

smallest_gift_of_christmasThe Smallest Gift of Christmas

Peter H. Reynolds, Author and Illustrator

Candlewick Press, Sept. 24, 2013

Suitable for Ages: 3-7

Themes:  Christmas, Gifts, Disappointment,  Family

Opening“Roland was eager for Christmas Day.  He raced downstairs to see what was waiting for him.”

Synopsis:  When Christmas morning arrives, Roland races to the living room and finds the smallest gift ever with his name on it.  He closes his eyes and wishes for a bigger gift.  Not happy, he wishes again and again. Larger gifts magically appear, but they don’t satisfy Roland.  Frustrated, this feisty and determined boy sets off in a rocket to search the universe for the biggest gift. Looking back at earth, Roland realizes what he wants most.

Why I like this book:  Peter Reynolds has created a very charming story that both children and adults will relate to in a manner that is light-hearted. Reynolds addresses the importance of family and being happy with what you have in a very entertaining manner. This is a small book packed with a big message.  The illustrations are festive for the holidays as each page is beautifully done in bold splashes of red and green.  And, the characters are done in Reynolds signature cartoon style. This is a wonderful gift book.  Visit Peter H. Reynolds at his website.

Resources:  This is meant to be a humorous read, but it also can be a great discussion book to talk with kids about the importance of Christmas. Put out paper, markers, crayons, glitter and glue and encourage your child to make Christmas cards or small gifts for family members.

Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book.  To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.

About Patricia Tiltonhttps://childrensbooksheal.wordpress.comI want "Children's Books Heal" to be a resource for parents, grandparents, teachers and school counselors. My goal is to share books on a wide range of topics that have a healing impact on children who are facing challenges in their lives. If you are looking for good books on grief, autism, visual and hearing impairments, special needs, diversity, bullying, military families and social justice issues, you've come to the right place. I also share books that encourage art, imagination and creativity. I am always searching for those special gems to share with you. If you have a suggestion, please let me know.

31 thoughts on “The Smallest Gift of Christmas

  1. I’m so grateful that you reviewed this book today, Pat. I’ve been eager to read it since I first heard of it. Just checked our library system and two small out-of-town libraries have it — so it’s now on my hold list. It sounds wonderful!


  2. Thanks for sharing this book! We’ll want to have it on our shelves for next Christmas for sure. One of the sweetest things that happened in the shop this year was when a kid’s uncle anonymously gave his nephew a gift certificate. The six year old boy came into the shop and wandered around looking at everything with his eyes wide open and sparkling. He finally zeroed in on a beautiful pan flute that he brought up to the counter along with his gift certificate. “Do I have enough for this?” He asked. Yep! Then he also grabbed a small top, one of the least expensive things we have in the shop, but which still have put him slightly over the gift certificate amount, Then he said “I want to get this (the pan flute) for my sister. She saw it the other day and loved it.” “Can I also get this top for me?” Of course he could. Using a gift certificate to get your sister a wonderful gift… priceless!


    • What a beautiful Christmas story, Craig. It is so wonderful to see a child using his gift certificate to buy something for his sister.

      I’m pleased you liked my review. I’ve reviewed some really good books lately. Some you’d be interested in. Have a Merry Christmas!


  3. This book sounds like it was written for my son who always wants the biggest ice cream, toy, etc. I’ll try to pick it up. Happy holidays, Pat!


  4. Beautiful story, Pat. Oh, and Craig’s story in the comments brought tears to my eyes. How sweet. That’s what Christmas is all about. Have a wonderful Christmas, Pat. I hope all goes well for you with much success in 2014. We must catch up, sometime.


  5. A wonderful thing to remind everyone of…I see children receiving so much, so many presents, and they expect it. This looks like it is a reminder of good old-fashioned values about giving and receiving.


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